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Senate Proceeding 03-09-11 on Mar 9th, 2011 :: 5:41:00 to 5:56:10
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Jeff Sessions

5:40:53 to 5:41:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: quorum call: mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. objection. mr. sessions: mr. president, we have had our votes this afternoon on the continuing resolution proposal from the house. the senate did not approve that, did not have the 60 votes

Jeff Sessions

5:41:00 to 5:56:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

5:41:14 to 5:41:34( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: necessary to accept that, and the democratic proposal, which i would suggest does nothing about the debt, also failed. i guess there were four or five party defections. if you take it what direction those defections went, all of those defections went to the

Jeff Sessions

5:41:35 to 5:41:57( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: more conservative side in that several thought that the house reductions in spending were not enough and several thought -- democrat colleagues who thought that the -- the democratic majority leader's proposal did not go far enough. i would just say that what we need to do -- and it's very,

Jeff Sessions

5:41:58 to 5:42:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: very important that we achieve it -- is that we need to move toward a -- a gradual, credible, sustained, mature reduction of the deficits this country has faced. and that takes some tough decisionmaking. it doesn't require us to act in an extreme or drastic way, but

Jeff Sessions

5:42:23 to 5:42:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it means sustained, serious changes in the trajectory on which we are headed. and i would just note that the house proposal that came over proposed reducing our discretionary -- nondefense

Jeff Sessions

5:42:45 to 5:43:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: discretionary spending, spending, $61 billion over the rest of the fiscal year. that's if you take only the discretionary amount that amounts to about a 60% reduction in it. you take the -- 6% reduction in it. if you take the other, it's less

Jeff Sessions

5:43:06 to 5:43:26( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: than 2% in entire spending. so it's utterly implausible that this reduction in spending is so significant that it will impact adversely our economy today. that's one of the arguments that they're throwing out, particularly in light of the fact that these are -- don't consider the fact that we're

Jeff Sessions

5:43:27 to 5:43:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: dealing with outlays, and a lot of that money won't even be spent in this fiscal year. it will be spent in the next year or two as you build a project, a road or something that takes several years to complete. so the actual reduction in outlay in this year won't be that significant, and it's just

Jeff Sessions

5:43:48 to 5:44:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: not going to reduce the fragile growth rate that we're in. what it does do, though, is save save $61 billion out of this year's appropriations. and over a period of ten years, that will result in approximately $860 billion in savings.

Jeff Sessions

5:44:11 to 5:44:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: because it reduces the base line by this amount at 61, and it carries out each of the ten years of a $61 billion reduction, plus the interest saved on all this debt since all of this money is borrowed, we're so deeply in debt, any reduction just reduces our debt, it reduces our interest payment, it

Jeff Sessions

5:44:32 to 5:44:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: puts us on a sound path. i do not believe the house sent us anything is reckless or dangerous or extreme. the majority leader yesterday said it was reckless. and -- and used those kind of preswror active terms. it's not -- pejorative terms.

Jeff Sessions

5:44:53 to 5:45:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it's not. it's a realistic step that has a significant impact. pushing a trillion dollars actually over ten. do a few more little things, you'd save a trillion dollars on our debt over ten years, and that's significant. and i would point out, mr. president, we've had substantial increases in our

Jeff Sessions

5:45:17 to 5:45:37( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: budgets in the last two years. in 2010, 2011, over the 2008 budget proposal, we've added 25% increases in spending in these discretionary programs. some of them will receive substantially more than that. so taking down these numbers will not put us into the

Jeff Sessions

5:45:38 to 5:45:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: poorhouse. it's not going to substantially alter the nature of the very republic that we are here to serve nor the government that's supposed to serve the people. it's not going to savage our government. it's not going to savage programs. for example, this -- these

Jeff Sessions

5:46:00 to 5:46:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: reductions that we voted on, had they -- if they become law, $61 billion over the rest of this fiscal year, would bring us still above the 2008 levels by 4.3%. 2008, we were spend $378 billion on these programs.

Jeff Sessions

5:46:21 to 5:46:45( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: if this reduction were to be accomplished, the spending for the rest of this year -- for this year would be $394 billion. that's more than we were just spending in 2008 and i believe it's a reasonable reduction. now, i suppose after this vote

Jeff Sessions

5:46:46 to 5:47:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: that leaders and wise heads and people i affectionately call masters of the universe will all get together and they'll start deciding what we're going to do. well, you didn't win your vote and we didn't win our vote and so let's just sit down here and you give a little bit more and we don't want to cut too much

Jeff Sessions

5:47:07 to 5:47:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: spending, you know, and we'll just not agree to anything like these spending levels. i think that would be a mistake. i believe the american people in this last election were very clear that they expected us to do something about this reckless

Jeff Sessions

5:47:31 to 5:47:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: washington spending. it was dominant in the election. there was a sha shellacking in this election of the big government, big spenders. country. what was it, 87 new house numbers elected? the biggest surge in years. every one of them virtually

Jeff Sessions

5:47:53 to 5:48:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: promising to contain the reckless spending in washington. so i can't understand what it is that people don't comprehend about the nature of the circumstances we're in. 40 cents of every dollar we spend today is borrowed. every economist who's testified

Jeff Sessions

5:48:14 to 5:48:36( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: has said that we're on an unsustainable path. mr. erskine bowles testified, former -- president clinton's former chief of staff, a successful businessman himself, the head of the debt commission along with alan simpson, former senator, and he said we could have a debt crisis in two years, maybe a little less, maybe a

Jeff Sessions

5:48:37 to 5:48:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: little more on the rate we're going. thirty joint statement said this country has never been in a situation which we have such a predictable crisis. and senator simpson declared he

Jeff Sessions

5:48:59 to 5:49:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: thought we could have a debt crisis in less than a year. he said, i think it's less than a year, not two years. alan greenspan in january told the "wall street journal" there was a little better but not much more than a 50/50 chance that we would have a debt crisis in

Jeff Sessions

5:49:21 to 5:49:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: less -- in two to three years. these are ominous warnings. you can't -- you can't spend $3.8 trillion and bring in $2.2 trillion and think you can continue that any time soon. it's the largest deficit in the history of the ameri republic.

Jeff Sessions

5:49:42 to 5:50:02( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and the president's budget he just submitted to us projects no budget in ten years, less than $600 billion. and the last three years of his ten-year budget, those deficits are going up to $900 billion. it's the wrong trends. this is not a course we can sustain.

Jeff Sessions

5:50:03 to 5:50:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: we have to get off of it. we could be reaching the precipice sooner than we think, one year, two years, three years, if we don't get off this path. we need to take action now. there's one opportunity. that's this continuing resolution which allows us to

Jeff Sessions

5:50:24 to 5:50:45( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: make some reductions, enough to send a message that there is a sufficient votes in this congress to reverse the path we're on. is there sufficient votes? i believe there is. partisanship information these last two votes. we know that. people were pressured on both sides. but the people who didn't follow

Jeff Sessions

5:50:46 to 5:51:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: party line were all that were moving on to the right side, the more conservative, restrained side of spending. so i think that suggests there's some momentum out there to do something other than just split the baby on this -- how much we're going to reduce spending. the majority leader's proposal

Jeff Sessions

5:51:07 to 5:51:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: is really a $4.6 billion reduction, less than one-half of 1% of the discretionary budget and a mere fraction of the total federal spending this year. that's nothing. so the choice is, are we going to do nothing or are we going to do something? are we going to listen to the

Jeff Sessions

5:51:29 to 5:51:50( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: warnings, that we're facing a predictable crisis financially or not? so we can do this. this is not going to be a dramatic reduction in spending. frankly, i'd like to see it go a good bit lower, as a number of

Jeff Sessions

5:51:51 to 5:52:11( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: people i know in the senate feel. but most of us felt like it was significant, it puts us on a downward path, it saves $61 billion this year, $850 billion over ten. that's a pretty good amount to save in seven months of this fiscal year, we come back next year and we do more and better

Jeff Sessions

5:52:12 to 5:52:33( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: work. and we're going to have to bring entitlements into the discussion. but the president's going to have to step up on that. if he's going to oppose that, nothing's going to pass on entitlements, that's for sure. so we need some leadership. and we can move this thing in the right direction.

Jeff Sessions

5:52:34 to 5:52:54( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: so i'm disappointed that there were not more votes for the house proposal but at least on a republican side, it got every republican vote except a few who felt it didn't go far enough in reducing spending. and i believe the message needs

Jeff Sessions

5:52:55 to 5:53:15( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: to be, to whoever's meeting in these secret chambers, without the american people and without -- i won't be in there, i'm sure. they'll be meeting over there and they'll be making these plots. they need to know we're not just looking for any token cuts. we need to do something that's significant. we need to stay with the house number, that's what we need to do.

Jeff Sessions

5:53:16 to 5:53:36( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it would be so good for this country. the whole world would say hmm, this new congress, they take -- that was a noticeable step, they actually reduced spending. maybe they are in the united states ready to get their house in order. maybe we don't mind continuing

Jeff Sessions

5:53:37 to 5:53:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: to buy their bonds. maybe -- maybe they'll be able to honor their debts without debasing their currency. maybe it's a good investment. i hope that's what we need to be saying, because otherwise we could be in a situation in which our debt surges, the interest on

Jeff Sessions

5:53:59 to 5:54:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: our debt surges and the value of our currency is debased and put us on the road to political as well as economic decline. so, mr. president, i thank the chair for the opportunity to share these remarks. as ranking republican on the budget committee, we've been wrestling with these -- these issues.

Jeff Sessions

5:54:23 to 5:54:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: i thank senator conrad, our chairman. he's had some good hearings. we've had some good witnesses and good testimony. but it's time for action. not just talk, we need to do something. this is the bill that's before us. this c.r., it's a vehicle by which we can speak to the

Jeff Sessions

5:54:45 to 5:55:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: american people, speak to the financial markets, speak to the entire world that the united states realizes that our path is an unsustainable one and we are going to do something about it. we are moving off that path. it's going to be a tougher road

Jeff Sessions

5:55:06 to 5:55:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: for awhile, but it's the road to prosperity, it's the road to growth, it's the road to more jobs. excessive debt slows down the economy, as roghoffen rhine hard's book and studies show, as secretary gien heart testified in the budget committee.

Jeff Sessions

5:55:29 to 5:55:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it's it's possible we could have a debt crisis, an adverse incident that is exacerbated by the very high levels of debt that we're under. mr. president, i thank the chair and would yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

Jeff Sessions

5:55:50 to 5:55:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: m absence of a quorum, mr. president. th will call the roll.

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